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I'm less boxer and more punching bag, it seems

ONE thing they don't tell you about being in a boxing match is just how difficult it is to shriek 'Not the face! Not the face!' with a gum shield in your gob.

But that's the situation this column found itself in last night as thousands cheered on while I dutifully received what was no doubt a long overdue walloping.

I had been advised to try to wear my opponent out, but no-one ever said that this doesn't actually mean running away from the other person until they're too tired to fight.

It was all for charity of course and, while tenderly poking at the spongy mass now that was once my rib cage, there's a sting too in the irony that as a middle-aged weakling and self-confessed coward I should have put myself in line for such a hiding on behalf of a charity like the RNLI -- a bunch of burly blokes who'll brave anything.